Jewishness, Whiteness, and Blackness on Glee: Singing to the Tune of Postracism

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The Fox series Glee, with its self-conscious focus on issues of diversity, is a fitting location to examine ideas about race in a postracial mediascape. Looking at Rachel, who is Jewish, this work explores how the construction of her Jewishness functions to situate her as a disenfranchised ethnic minority with the same status as characters of color, at the same time as it grants her the privileges of whiteness. Examining Mercedes, a black character, the article argues she is only granted access to the privileges of whiteness when whitened. Ironic and self-conscious humor and the trope of the musical number are also integral to the analysis since these frame race issues in a postracial manner, foreclosing possibilities for critical engagement.

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Communication, Culture & Critique, v. 6, issue 1, p. 82-102